Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nightstand Report

I took to Austin with me last weekend and read Jack Goldsmith's misnamed book, The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration. Goldstein is a former U of Chicago Law School professor, now at Harvard, who spent 10 months as head of the Attorney General's "Office of Legal Counsel". This is the office that gives legal opinions to the White House, opinions upon which, according to Goldsmith, one can rely and avoid war-crimes indictment, etc. It is in the genre of Beltway self-justification books, but it is worth reading and pretty well written. I got onto the book as a result of an interview of Goldsmith by Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith that is available via podcast.

I am reading right now a great WW II book about Gen. E.R. Quesada, whom I had the privilege of knowing. The title is Over Lord: General Pete Quesada and the Triumph of Tactical Air Power in World War II. It's been a hard book to put down this weekend and I'm nearly finished.

While at Macon's house, I pulled from his well-stocked bookcases Donald G. Bloesch's A Theology of Word & Spirit: Authority and Mehod in Theology. This is the first volume in a seven volume work of systematic theology by Bloesch, a professor at Dubuque Theological Seminary. I read the introduction and the first chapter, and Bloesch's forthright and confident approach to his subject and his muscular (to say the least) writing style captured me.

I just finished reading maybe the best single investment advice book I've seen, Armstrong's The Informed Investor: A Hype-Free Guide to Constructing a Sound Financial Portfolio.

I am still reading Meredith's The Fate of Africa: Fifty Years of Independence, Oren's Power, Faith & Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present, and Dungy's Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life. I'm always reading Allen's Getting Things Done. Mary gave me Casona's La Barca sin Pescador, a short book that I read in college but a book whose thesis has stayed fresh in my mind since then, so I thought I would read it again, Spanish-English dictionary in hand.

I would love to get away with these books and others for about ten days in the deep woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains!

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